Source: Demonstrative audio sample from the Musik & Teatermuseet, available at MIMO’s website (2014).
The instrument is big, formed by a bent iron stick in the shape of an equilateral triangle, with an open vertex . The sounds produced by the instrument have undetermined pitch. In order to play, the musician holds the instrument in his hand and strikes it with a stick, also made of iron. The musician moves the stick up and down, producing sound on the base of the instrument and on its upper end. Simultaneously to the up and down movement, the musician tightens and releases the body of the instrument with one of the hands, producing timbre variations. The Museum’s specimen does not have a stick.
Ferrinho is the old denomination of the triangle in music bands, in towns of the Brazilian inland. The ferrinho style, or baião triangle, is also the peculiar style of playing northeastern Brazilian rhythms and of some rural Portuguese romps and dances. The name ferrinho (ferro meaning iron in Portuguese) is due to the metallic iron sound that is produced. Its characteristic, well grounded at the armorial Brazilian northeastern aesthetics, comes from the ostinato played with the alternate ups and downs of the stick, on the base and on the upper part, directly suspended by the musician’s hand, who, by grabbing and letting go of the body of the instrument, produces the two timbres which characterize the style in terms of rhythm and sound. César Guerra-Peixe used these two timbre intonations (trapped sound/loose sound) in his Suite No. 2 – Pernambucana, from 1955, and also Edino Krieger, in the works Abertura Brasileira (1955) and Canticum Naturale (1972).
Text written by Professor Pedro Sá, percussion professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
BASE MINERVA, 2014.
BETHENCOURT; BORDAS; CANO; CARVAJAL; SOUZA; DIAS; LUENGO; PALACIUS; PIQUER, ROCHA, RODRIGUEZ; RUBIALES; RUIZ, 2012.
BRAND O, 2013.
MUSEU DA MÚSICA PT, 2014.
PEDRO SÁ, 2014.